My Go-To-Place: Fairfield Road

I still can’t believe everything that is happening to me now. Whenever I see London road signages, I keep asking myself “Is this really happening? Am I really in London?” It’s been more than 6 months when I arrived here to work and up until now, I feel like I’m still on cloud 9. It seems like I’m still dreaming.

I love walking in the streets of Kingston Upon Thames especially during this Springtime because of the green surroundings. Nature is in full bloom. This is my first time to witness four seasons and realized that each season offers something new and different. They all teach me lessons about life. Kingston library is located on Fairfield road. This road is my haven, my favorite place in town because of the establishments that are within the area such as the Kingfisher Leisure Centre (gym, swimming pool, children’s playground), Fairfield Recreational Ground (where anyone can play football, jog, have a picnic, train and play with your dogs and pets. Within the next two days, a circus will be held in this area. Oh, how excited I am! This is an authentic circus show. The one I only watched on TV when I was young. I imagine for the show to have lions, acrobats, performers crossing a rope, unicycle, etc. There’s also the Kingston Museum, when I visited it before, I’ve learned the history and seen the images of Kingston before the civilization, the paintings of the establishments and the clothing at that time. And of course, the reason why I am in Fairfield Road, the Kingston Libary. I went there to study for my exam because if I did it in my room, I will be tempted to sleep. When I sat in the chair inside the library with all other students and young professionals quietly studying, I can’t help but smile and reflect at that moment. I just feel so grateful that I was given this opportunity to work and live in London. Everything that I imagined doing and learning are in here. They have a lot of things to offer. I found classes on creative writing, digital photography, flower arrangement, European language, cooking, baking, gardening etc. They have this library where I can study, borrow books that range from English novels, fiction and nonfiction, biography, health, arts, cooking, history, IT, gardening. As I was tempted to check these books, I stopped and reminded myself what I was there for, which is to study for my exam. Then I smiled because I am grateful for all these. These are what makes me happy and interested in life. (Plus I have a loving boyfriend back home). That I want to learn more. I want to grow. I want to acquire skills. I want to improve because I believe that there’s a lot more I can offer. 

On the way to Kingston Library

My wide imagination was working. I could imagine anything while smiling. But I ditched that thinking because for now, my focus is on my examination and in passing it. Working and living abroad is definitely not easy, there are challenges but with all these, I am grateful.

This Year’s Holy Week

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This year’s celebration of Holy Week has only been the same as with the previous years. Nothing’s really special happened. Due to my crazy work schedule, I have no time to go home in Nueva Ecija or do an out of town travel alone, with friends or family and take a time off to reflect on being a Catholic. I only went to work (which I surprisingly enjoy lately), reviewed for my upcoming CBT nursing exam during free time and did the things I love like reading and writing.

Holy week is an important reminder for us Catholics to strengthen our faith. As this time of the year, we remember how Jesus was crucified and died on the cross to save us from all our sins. I may not be able to do Visita Iglesia just like other Filipinos, but I very well know in my heart that I believe in Jesus and to God. I understand that there are other people who don’t believe in a Higher Being. Regardless of religion, let us find something to believe in. I choose to believe and have faith. Because believing gives me HOPE. That I am where I am right now because of a purpose. That I was given this life to live because He has a plan for my life. And that gives me a different perspective of everything that I have gone through.

Two weeks ago, when I had to leave the church at the middle of the mass to go to work. This whole month of March has been a very busy one for me. With everything that I was dedicating my time on, I felt I neglected my time with Him. And so when I left at the middle of the mass to go to work, deep in my heart, I felt I needed more time with Him, to talk to Him, to tell Him how crazy things have been happening lately and just thank Him for all the great things coming.

This Easter Sunday is the time when Jesus has arisen. He died and became alive again. There might have been times in the past that we felt shattered for different reasons, but we should never give up. In my everyday randomness, I decide to believe that there’s a Higher Being who only has great things in store for His people. And that for me is what Holy Week means, keeping up with the FAITH.

My takeaway from the movie “Always Be My Maybe”

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During the first week of the released date of the movie ‘Always be my maybe’, I was able to watch it with my very good friend Coleen in Robinson’s Magnolia.

The story is about the relationship problems of twenty-something people. I think that single people in this age group can definitely relate to the story. For those who had broken up with their girlfriend or boyfriend, if you’re a guy or a girl who fell for someone and was left hanging, for people seeking for love and are hoping to find The One, this movie is for all of us. We can get a glimpse of what’s going on in a guy’s mind when he hangs out with a girl and a girl’s perspective about being treated special by a guy.

Why is this movie a hit? Because it is so real. I, personally, can relate to it. Not really in every scene but in being down at some point in my life and in being hurt. Relationship issue is always a very interesting topic because the development task for young adult is intimacy vs. social isolation. This adult task is about engaging into meaningful relationships with the opposite sex, finding a life partner, getting married and starting a family. Young adults want a movie that they can identify with.

During the night, after watching the movie, I silently reflected in my life and remembered my experiences in the past. I get to understand that sometimes in life, we hurt people unknowingly and unintentionally. I do not want lose the capacity to trust and to hope that one day, The One and I will be at the same place at the same time and our love story will begin. Just like the lead characters in this movie.

Sydney and the Small Stories

This post was really intended to be done two years ago after my trip to Australia. But because of procrastination, it took me two years after to post. Nevertheless, what is important is I am doing it now. The purpose of posting my travels and all the beautiful things that happened in my life is because I want to look back on those experiences in the future. When I am already 40 years old, I want to visit this blog and cherish what I did on my 20s. Indeed, it weren’t all joy. There were pain, struggles, challenges,  heartbreaks and tears. In a novel, a good story has all of these element to ignite the enthusiasm of the reader. My life is a book. I am the protagonist and everyone around me is part of my story. Okay, so much for the random thoughts. Sharing you now my pictures for me and my classmate’s epic trip to Sydney, Australia.

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The three rock formation as the three sisters.

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This is one of the scariest ride that I’ve tried in my life. This train goes up inside the dark mountain in a 55-degree angle. Me and my classmates really enjoyed this ride a lot because we didn’t expect that the train will go up in that angle. In the history of this ride, the train was really intended for coal mining, but since people wanted and enjoyed the train running inside the rocky interior of the mountain, it became a tourist attraction and the owners decided to stop coal mining and just made it a train ride. It is a must try!

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Here, we are exploring the Blue Mountains. It is called the Blue Mountains because the mountains are covered by the eucalyptus trees which are the primary food of the Koala bears. When the sun touches the eucalyptus trees, collectively, they became color blue or looked like color blue. Hence, the Blue Mountains. I was able to touch a eucalyptus tree and it smelled like a menthol candy. Our tour guide, his name’s Ken, was very informative. I think he’s been doing that job for more than 20 years already. He knows every story and details of the places we’ve visited. I admired him because I can sense that he takes pride in his job. He is happy being a tour guide.

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Here, I was outside the Katoomba coal mine.

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Enjoying the farm animals in Featherdale Wildlife Park. I was with my classmates, the sisters, Ruth and Diane and with a cute Australian child who was also touring with her parents. In the the Featherdale Wildlife Park, I had seen a lot of animals like Kangaroos, snakes, Koala bears, penguins, crocodiles, goats, cows, etc. I love going to zoos and interacting with animals that I don’t usually see everyday.

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Trekking and being one with nature. Sunlight, trees, grass, rock formation, soil, oh I loved it!

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So let’s move to the city, the famous landmarks of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Opera House.

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Me and my classmate, Mel, was able to walk around the opera house. It was such a unique architectural piece, really one of a kind. Beside it is The Royal Botanical Garden, a huge park where one can relax and spend the day feeling surreal.

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The Sydney Opera House is located in the Circular Quay train station. From there, Mel and I, decided to go to Manly beach riding a ferry. It took the ferry ride 30 minutes to arrive in our destination. That 30-minute ride was an awe for me. I was able to see the beauty of Sydney, the opera house, the bridge, the ocean, and the beach front.

 

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Mel and I, enjoying the beach.

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Basically, these are just some of the moments we had in Sydney. There was a lot but I can no longer put them into words. They are left in my heart and will just forever be cherished. How can one not miss this experience? This trip has changed my life forever. Several months after coming home, I quit my former job and pursued my profession now. Solely because I was able to reflect on this trip. I wondered why I lost my passion and why I gave up on my childhood dreams. With this experience, I stood up, tried again and is now pursuing my childhood dreams. I realized that what we dreamt of when we were a child is the same as our adult dreams. We really didn’t change.

This is such a heartfelt post. I am really an emotional person. Let’s all dream and pursue our heart’s desire. 🙂

Beauty in Vulnerability

06/26/2015

Dear “Future The One”,

I have a lot of things to tell you. So while I still haven’t met you, I will write, and will just show this letter to you in the future.

You know what, I can’t sleep. Headache. Tears are on my eyes. I don’t have problems right now. Why tears? I just keep on wondering when will I see you, when will you enter my everyday, when will you be part of my life?

I won’t give up in believing that one of these days, soon, you will arrive. And the longingness, excitement, all the tears that has fallen through the years of waiting will be all worth it.

I want to tell you my everyday experiences, how adrenaline has taken over my entire self whenever there are emergencies happening in the workplace. I want to tell you the realizations I have everyday, from the simplest things like being grateful for waking up every morning to being appreciated at work. I want to tell my fears and worries, if there’s any. And above all, I want to tell you my dreams, my plans, my goals, the things that I’d like to learn like applying make up on myself and braiding my own hair. I want to tell you of my plans of working abroad, of the preparation for it, of the exams I have to take, of the nervousness and anxiety that I feel as that exam is nearing. I want to tell you all the failures I had in the past. Failures they maybe, but I also call them as redirection. I want to tell you of the amazing speech and life lessons I learned from Steve Jobs in the Stanford graduation ceremony. Basically, I have a lot of stories to tell. But just to be clear, I’m not talkative. I just have a lot of stories to tell. So please, hurry up! Find me! Talk to me! Don’t give up on us.

I’ll wait for you patiently.

Your “Future The One”,
Berna

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This is probably the most vulnerable thing that I will share. I learned through an inspirational speaker Brene Brown that there is beauty in vulnerability. It’s about being real of your feelings and not thinking of what others will say. The letter above was from one of the random thoughts I had sometime in June.

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Here are the lessons Brene Brown has shared in one of her speeches.

According to Brene Brown:

Connected people believe that what makes them vulnerable makes the beautiful. Connected people are willing to say “I love you” first and take relational risks. They are willing to get hurt. This is fundamental to a connected person.

Questions to ask ourselves:

*Am I willing to be vulnerable eventhough there is no guarantee?
*Am I willing to love with my whole heart?
*Can I practice gratitude and joy in the face of rejection? In the face of risk?
*Am I communicating to others that they are enough, even as they are?
*Do I believe I am enough? Do I believe I am worthy of love?
*Do I understand that my beliefs I am worthy of love directly connects with my ability to connect with and love others.
*Are you afraid to be vulnerable?
*Do you believe you are a safe person people can be vulnerable with?

In order for connection to happen, we must allow ourselves to be seen. We must overcome our shame. A sense of worthiness is connected to a sense of love and belonging. People who have strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. What keeps us out of connection is the feeling we are not worthy of connection. People who are living out of a sense of worthiness are whole hearted.

Being whole hearted means:
1. Having courage. Courage means to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Whole hearted means we have the courage to be imperfect.

2. They have compassion for themselves, and therefore have compassion for others.

3. They have connection. As a result of accepting themselves and having courage to project who they really are, along with having compassion for themselves and others, they were able to be authentic, and therefore connect with others. They are willing to let go of the idea of who they should be in order to accept who they are.

P.S. Can we all be brave enough to be vulnerable?

Back on Track

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Hello! I just want to share that right now, I am on vacation leave (VL) from work. My VL started on September 16 until October 11. Almost a month.. Yay! The reason for that long VL is because in the hospital where I am presently working, whenever an employee reaches her anniversary from work, she will be granted an 18 days vacation leave. Great benefit right? For me, including the 2 days off per week, it will be a total of 26 days of not going to work. So in this 26 days, what shall I plan to do? Long before I reached this VL, I had been thinking and planning on several productive things to spend my time well and for me not to be bored and suddenly realizing wanting to go back to work. I thought of going on vacation, visiting my parents in the province, out of town with my friends, learning something new like driving or swimming, attending blogging events, updating my social media profile and writing/ blogging a lot. In reality, I am now on vacation and not all planned months before will be materialized.

Sudden changes were made like finally booking for IELTS (International English Language Testing System), which is one of the requirements for my application as a nurse in the UK. I booked the exam the other day and it was indeed a very expensive one. The exam date will be on October 8. I did not rush to take the exam. I just realized that while on vacation leave is the best time to take IELTS since I have ample time to review and am just relaxed and not stressed from work. After registering online for the exam, I made a decision to finally focus on reviewing by watching tutorial videos on YouTube, doing practice test in the reviewer I bought in the bookstore, and showing up in the review center where I enrolled myself in.

Yesterday morning, I sent my updated resume in the agency through email. I am already qualified to be hired as a nurse in the UK which requires a minimum of 1 year hospital experience. However, I needed to pass several exams and IELTS is the first one. In the afternoon, I went to Makati to attend the free IELTS talk offered by the recruitment agency where I am communicating with for my application. I liked the talk because the myths regarding IELTS were made clear and we were advised that the exam is an objective one in a way that test takers only need to give what the exam asks for.

After the talk, I met with a blogger friend and he treated me to a fast food chain and just enjoyed the company of each other. It’s just amazing how blogging allows me to meet interesting people and learning a lot from them.

When I was updating and sending email to the recruitment agency yesterday, there was this exhilarating feeling because I just felt that I am back on track. I am back to pursuing my dreams and goals when I was in high school. The same feeling as how I dream before in high school is exactly how I felt yesterday. The burning desire that was lost during college and during the first two jobs after graduation returned. The feeling of being lost and not knowing where the direction of my life will be heading because of quarter-life crisis is no longer in my system. The past sadness, disappointments, rejections and all the not-so-wonderful feelings were all gone as I view them as God’s way of redirecting me to where I am meant to be. I feel so excited every day because I have many things to look forward to and I have a dream and goal to pursue.

Let us continue to live, hope and dream. Day by day as much as I can, I am trying to work harder, study harder, play harder and risk harder than ever before. 🙂

Fearless 2015

I can still remember the quote in my grade 3 GMRC book. It says, “Life is a complex web of varied experiences that makes it all worthwhile.”

I still feel uneasy and there is this strange feeling whenever the people I know get to read my blog posts. It’s because for the longest time, I kept this hidden for myself. It’s like a part of me is being shown, that I strip off the layers of myself to expose the core. It’s showing my vulnerability.

In my previous blog posts, years ago, were my dreams and everything that inspired and motivated me. There were also posts about my fears, the reasons behind my smile and also moments that I got sad and hurt. Who doesn’t feel sad, get hurt, get rejected, or fail in life? Please find comfort in knowing that others experience the same. For as long as we do not give up, we are perfectly fine.

It’s been halfway of the year 2015, how am I doing so far? I just thought last month of calling this year as Fearless 2015, as I have decided to publicize this blog. This time, I’m blogging to promote events, new products, books etc., just like what other bloggers do. It’s because 5 years ago, when I created this blog, it’s more of like an online journal where I poured my thoughts and frustrations in life, the reason I do not tell others I have a blog.

But this time, it’s different. It’s about becoming fearless in life by showing our true self instead of hiding who we really are. One reason also that I decided to publicize this blog is because of The Parable of Talent that I read online. In the parable, I learned that our talent shouldn’t be hidden away. Our talent is meant to be nurtured. It is meant to be shared. Or else, that talent may be taken away from us. I’m not saying that writing is my talent, but I believe what I am capable of doing is a gift from God. I know there are other bloggers who write better, but that reality humbles me to just to do my best.

With the remaining 5 1/2 months of 2015, I do not know what will happen. Let us just be excited of life’s little and big surprises. The fact that we do not know what will happen in the future is what gives us hope. And it is the HOPE for the amazing things that is yet to come. 🙂

Desired things

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

-Three years ago, when I was still in my previous work, my trainer used to send quotes to our company e-mail for daily dose of inspiration. A part of the prose Desiderata was sent on March 2012. When I read it, I was touched by its message. I know I should learn the message by heart, that’s why I wrote the lines in my journal.

Fast forward 2015, upon checking on my journal, I came across the lines of Desiderata. I searched it on the Internet and was able to read the whole poem. I could not help but be touched again by the profound message. I found out the meaning of the word Desiderata: which is desired things. Much like the title of this blog, “Heartfelt Desires”, maybe the reason why the poem didn’t leave my memory even years after. This poem was written on the ‘50s, but I realized that the things that haunt people at that time are still pretty much the same with the dilemmas of people 60 years after, right at the new millennium. Matters like relationship with people, God, striving for personal happiness, peace, calmness, silence and love, issues of the past and present are all the same. Max Ehrmann’s message in this poem will live for eternity, believing that with all the not-so-good things happening around, it is still a beautiful world.

Please send me your thoughts of the impact of this poem in your life too, when you read it.

What makes me alive?

Tom Basson, my favourite blogger, once posted in his blog, “So, don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

That’s true. Then I turned and asked myself, what makes me alive? What is my motivation? This, I know for certain. As early as elementary days, I am certain I want to go and work abroad. But my greatest and ultimate dream in life is to have a family of my own. And now that I’m 23, those two dreams are still my dreams. It has never changed.

-These are thoughts I had 2 years ago. The reason I want to work abroad is because I want to see the world. I want to explore different places, cultures and meet random people on my own.  And the second one, is every woman’s dream. To give up everything to the one you love and settle.

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